News - Sauk Valley

Blighted home demolished, Lee County gives property to village

County earmarked $100,000 to address abandoned properties

A dilapidated home at 122 Cherry in Compton as it appeared on Wednesday, nearly four years after it was damaged a fire, that has been identified as needing demolished by Lee County.

DIXON – Lee County has demolished an eyesore in Compton damaged by a fire from years ago, and the Lee County Board agreed to give the property to the village.

In July, the board dedicated $100,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to go toward addressing hazardous and blighted sites in the county.

First on the list was a decrepit two-story house at 122 Cherry St. in Compton, which had been damaged by a fire around five years ago.

The property had been vacant for years, and there was a buildup of delinquent taxes since 2018.

The Lee County Health Department condemned the property Nov. 23, 2021, and the county was authorized to take possession of the property and remediate the unsafe conditions last year.

The home has since been demolished, and the County Board approved a resolution last week to give the property to Compton through a quit claim deed.

“We saw that as the most prudent, least-costly option,” Lee County Administrator Wendy Ryerson said. “We were concerned of retaining ownership of it and having to maintain or have liability for it, so this is a good option for us. It will get it back in the hands of the Village of Compton.”

Goals of the overall project are to identify and address abandoned properties that are dangerous to life, safety, health or other property. County officials are also researching grants that could help offset future demolition and cleanup costs.

The front entrance to the home at 122 Cherry in Compton that Lee County wants demolished.
Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.